SCABs

F*CK BEING HUMBLE? OK BUT IT’S AN INTEGRAL PART OF MY BEING…

I have just finished a ‘self help’ book entitled F*ck Being Humble. The name is punchy and caught my eye, I admit to being that much of a basic b*tch. The title aside (and the fact it’s clearly aimed at young entrepreneurial women in their early 20’s) it’s actually a pretty great insight into how to make a side hustle and use it as as a little vehicle to scoot around on, honking your horn outside prospective offices and agencies before folding your CV into a perfect paper airplane and navigating it expertly into the CEO’s window, even managing to arc at the last minute so that it avoids the Bonsai tree he got on that sabbatical in Japan. 

Wacky stunts aside, at its heart is a love letter to the side hustle, and that bit I can f*ck with. As an eternal plate spinner, someone constantly staring out to the dusty desert horizon for a glimpse of the new mirage, I can both profess both love and frustration at running and managing a myriad of projects. I got my leg up into running international festivals through starting club nights and DJing whilst at university, in the beating heart of electronic club culture that is Norwich. My very first writing credits came through pestering Radio 4 and getting some small feature bits on ‘The Now Show’ – once managing to make Hugh Dennis genuinely smile, and not just do that leer he normally does. My very existence at SCA is a continuation of this side hustling mentality, as I’m ploughing through whilst still holding down more than one full time responsibility day to day. The side hustle is pure, it’s honest. At its best it can make you feel like a Polymath, a renaissance man seamlessly joining the dots across industry, people and culture, blazing a trail with a flat white in your hand and a knowing wink.  I would say it is like that about 0.5% of the time.

The remaining 99.5% of the time are spent trapped in an agonising battle of guilt and misplaced energy, feeling like you’re not really managing either “hustle” as well as you should, whilst the plates start dropping faster than when ‘Zorba the Greek’ starts playing at a Mediterranean wedding. You’re getting the worst of both worlds and become envious of those with one clear passion project, one true voice, one North Star to head towards in an otherwise uncluttered night sky. By their very nature, side hustles are demanding and time consuming, with the results often only coming after a huge amount of blood, sweat and tears have been poured into them – modern parlance likes to call this ‘compounding’. 

So what is the answer? Sorry dear reader, but there isn’t one. Some of the best speakers on the course this year have explained how they see the best Ad men and women coming from a more disparate and unique background – to have some fresh stories to tell and a different slant of looking at things. This was music to my ears, and made me feel like the excess baggage of my side hustling past could actually be put to good use in the right agency, or when viewed upon by the right recruiter. So my finishing thought would be this – side hustle your heart out, flesh out your interests, learn some new skills. Just keep both eyes firmly on that North Star of yours at all times throughout. I didn’t mean for the end to be that disgracefully cheesy, but you know, f*ck being humble and all that…

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